Two Swedish journalists, who were abducted in Syria in November 2013, have been freed, the Associated Press reported. Sweden’s Foreign Ministry confirmed the release of photographer Niclas Hammarstrom on Jan. 5 and reporter Magnus Falkehed on Jan. 8, after a month and a half in captivity.
One of the Swedish journalists was transported from the Syrian-Lebanese border by the International Committee of the Red Cross and handed over to embassy officials. The other returned to Beirut on his own according to an ICRC official.
As neutral humanitarian intermediary, we @ICRC have just transferred the freed #Swedish journalist from #Arsal to his embassy in #Beirut
While Swedish officials declined to say who kidnapped the two journalists and why, Hammarstrom told a local paper that they were kidnapped by criminals on Nov. 23. He said his captors shot him in his left leg during an escape attempt a few days later.
Turkish journalists call for release of BÃ¼nyamin AygÃ¼n and other missing journalists in Syria @euronews
An estimated 30 journalists are believed to be held hostage by Syrian rebel groups fighting Bashar al-Assad’s government, according to this letter sent to rebel groups by news organizations asking for the release of kidnapped journalists.
@carlbildt happy that 3 from this list released this week but urgent need to help other journalists missing in Syria
Apart from jihadi groups, criminal gangs, government-supported militias, and rebel groups backed by the West, are also responsible for kidnappings of journalists. Most abductions take place in rebel strongholds which have a strong al-Qaeda influence.
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